Do Schools Kill Creativity?

Ken Robinson: Do Schools Kill Creativity?


Although you likely have already watched this video, it is worth watching again for the sheer reminder of how badly we need to bring creativity back.  Creativity is immense, especially because we have no idea about what the future holds.  Children all have immense capabilities for creativity, and Ken Robinson theorizes that by putting them through an education we are squandering and squashing all of it.

When children are young they are willing to take risks, even if it means being wrong.  They arent afraid of being wrong, of making mistakes.  It is only by MAKING mistakes that we are able to come up with something original.  However, school makes children afraid of making mistakes, and so we are educating people OUT of their creativity.

The original purpose of education was to meet the needs of the industrial revolution: we need to be able to get a job, and we need to be ready for university.  However, technology and progress have changed all of this. Degrees aren’t worth anything.  Robots are taking over manual tasks.  People are unemployed.  We no longer need school to ‘get a job,’ but we now need creativity to change the future.

Ken Robinson has defined creativity as “original ideas that have value”… similar to my definition of creativity as being something that is novel and useful.  However, if we really want children to be creative we need to rethink the fundamental principals of the way we teach.  We need to hold tight to that gift of creativity, and be careful with it. We need to encourage mistakes, and not squash them when they occur.  We need to get every child ready for their future so THEY can make something of it.

Watching this video gives inspiration for change as a teacher, inspiration to keep working forward to find the best way to educate our students for the future.


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